Where to stay - on a budget - Pariwana Hostel near Park Kennedy in Mirafloes - safe, lively, free walking tours, very clean, good kitchen and roof top patio - 10-15 dollars a night / Up scale - Barranco - Second Home - a small family run bed and breakfast that is better than most 5 star hotels - excellent breakfast served in the garden, suites over looking the ocean, private gardens and pool, beautiful art all over the mansion. 150-250 dollars per night
Where to eat - see blog post on places to eat in Lima, and what to eat in Peru
What to do - My perfect day in Lima - if I had just the one would be to wake up early and grab a coffee and pastry from a local bakery, then to head downtown in a taxi or train to the main plaza to see the government buildings, Cathedral, and plaza. I would then head back to Miraflores and visit the city ruins of Huaca Pucllana. Afterwards I would head down to Larcomar and visit the cliff side mall where I would take in the gorgeous sea view and eat lunch while overlooking the cliffside and sea. Then l would walk down the board walk from Larcomar to the Love Park - a park modelled after the works of Antoni Gaudi - by Victor Delphin. I would then head back to the hostel to rest until about 8.30 pm. That night I would out to Barranco for the evening to eat dinner, take in the lively atmosphere, and listen to the street musicians.
If I had more than one day I would still do these things at a more relaxed place and try to visit many restaurants. I would also take a taxi to Museo Larco - an anthropological museum - that is actually pretty amazing - housing an absolutely stunning collection of gold wares and ceramics that are Incan and Pre-Incan.